Where you're from: Zimbabwe
Undergraduate institution and major: Bachelors degree at St. Cloud State University (Minnesota) in Biomedical Science. Masters degree at St. Cloud State University in Cell and Molecular Biology
Department and lab you`re working in and what year you're in: I am a graduate student in the lab of Dr. Vera Tarakanova in the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Publications, abstracts or titles of posters you have presented or talks/seminars you`ve given at MCW and a description of your research: The research in our lab is focused on Virus-host interactions and trying to understand Virus-associated Tumorigenesis using Murine Gammaherpes virus (MHV68) as a model.
Career plans/goals after MCW: I plan to stay in the field of Microbiology doing research related to infectious diseases and vaccine development
A word about what diversity means to you, or what it means to be a minority scholar in Biomedical research, or your experiences etc.: Being an under-represented minority scholar
Being an under-represented minority at an institution which is well renowned for academic excellence has been a wonderful and eye-opening experience. Seeing other under-represented minority scholars developing their careers here with much success has been inspirational.
When I chose to come to MCW, I was unsure of exactly which path what I wanted to pursue in Biomedical research, however, I knew that MCW has a reputation of providing scholars with rigorous scientific training so I was confident that I would get sufficient training to launch a successful career . Having been here for a year, I have also learned that the MCW community is open to new ideas and willing to learn about other cultures and understands the need for cultural diversity.